Your 30-Second Introduction is a Dance
December 30, 2020
Interested in learning how to deliver a 30-second introduction? This resource is for you.
Imagine you are at a fancy ball, and you have started dancing with your partner. But instead of clasping hands and whisking off through the night, you turn your back and waltz off alone. Your partner is left staring at you, bored and rejected, and eventually wanders away.
This is how most people treat networking.
So many elevator pitches sound exactly the same: “Me! Me! Me!” They focus on the speaker and not on the prospect. I view such pitches like an awkward, solo waltz; you may have tried to dance with your partner, but instead have ended up centering yourself.
Here's the solution. Rather than telling people what you do and boring them in the process, engage them, allow them to dance with you, and show how they can benefit from knowing you. Make the conversation, or the dance, about them.
If done right, you will have engaged your listener to the point that they are curious how you can help them—all in less then 30 seconds! Follow this conversation guide, and you will likely see new possibilities with prospects.
1. “What I Do” – Keep It Brief
To start, briefly state what you do without giving too much away. Then, ask a simple question to engage them in your short presentation. For example, when talking about Criteria for Success, I might say:
“We are a sales improvement company based in New York City. We went remote this year, but our old office was right next to Grand Central Station. Do you know where that is?”
Invariably, people will say that they know or don’t know where Grand Central is. Either way, you got the listener to participate. Your pitch is now a conversation. (You have also used a technique called pattern interrupt by asking an unexpected question, causing your partner to sit up and pay attention.)
2. Focus on the Listener
Next, transition the presentation from what you do to what your partner does. But remember these two important caveats: do not address your partner directly (as doing so could make them defensive), and when you do mention them, do so with a compliment.
Here is an example:
“We help consulting firms like yours that are successful …”
You want to make it clear that you respect your partner. This sort of phrasing does just that.
LinkedIn and Smart Selling Strategies
3. Call Out Pain Points
The third step is to demonstrate your expertise by listing 3 of the main problems your listener is likely to have; their biggest pain points. Be sure to tailor these points to whomever you are speaking to. For example, if you are talking to a CEO, you could say that you help companies that have low productivity, low profit margin, or bad systems to get new clients. But if you are talking to a CFO, it's likely they are more concerned with the fact that clients are taking too long to pay. Or if you are talking with a sales manager, they might be frustrated that their sales team does insufficient prospecting.
So here is my example, continuing from above:
“… but have no reliable system for selling, have poor sales management, and do not have a reliable way to get referrals.”
Notice that in all of these examples, I state the problem as it is. Too many people try to sugarcoat issues, afraid to directly say where a prospect might need help.
But remember: salespeople are problem-solvers.
It's important to name problems to show that you don't shy away from tough situations. Instead of saying “I help companies improve their sales management system”, I would prefer to say “I help companies that suffer from poor sales management.” This forces the listener to think of their problem and get anxious to solve it.
4. Engage Your Listener
The last step is to bring the person back into the conversation by asking them if they are currently experiencing any of these problems, like this:
“Are any of these concerns applicable to you?” or “Do any of these strike a chord?”
Here, the other person will either confirm or deny that your work resonates with them. And if they have these problems, more often than not they will ask you how you go about solving them. And now you have a prospect asking you questions—nice job!
Your Complete 30-Second Introduction
Here is the entire speech:
“Criteria for Success is a sales improvement company based in New York City. We went remote this year, but our old office was right next to Grand Central Station. Do you know where that is? Yes, right there. We help companies like yours that are successful, but have no reliable system for selling, have poor sales management, or do not have a reliable way to get referrals. Are any of these concerns applicable to you?”
Simple and easy to implement, right? That is exactly what we do here at Criteria for Success; we create simple systems that enable companies to achieve their goals and succeed.
Do you have any tips on engaging your prospects? Tell us in the comments below! We love hearing from our readers.
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